The East Central Railway (ECR) has submitted a blueprint to the Railway Board and sought its approval to establish a direct rail link between Patna and Kathmandu in Nepal. A senior railway official said if the project was approved by the Railway Board, it would be completed by 2021.
At a meeting with members of the Bihar Chamber of Commerce in Patna recently, ECR general manager L C Trivedi said the railways has already started working on Jayanagar–Barbidas (Nepal) and Raxaul–Kathmandu rail route projects with cooperation from the Nepal government. There is already an operational rail line between Patna and Raxaul and the upcoming Raxaul–Kathmandu line will provide the connectivity between Patna and the national capital of Nepal. ECR chief public relations officer (CPRO) Rajesh Kumar said the 67km-long Jayanagar-Barbidas project, which is funded by the ministry of external affairs, is being implemented by Indian Railway Construction Company (Ircon).
“Ircon has so far laid new rakes up to 34km between Jaynagar and Kurtha in Nepal. The project entails an expenditure of Rs 787 crore,” the CPRO added. The railways has also decided to lay new lines at a stretch of around 136km between Raxaul and Kathmandu, connecting Birganj, Nijgadh, Shikharpur and Sisneri. An MoU in this regard was signed between India and Nepal in the presence of PM Narendra Modi on August 31 last year.
“The proposed rail line will be constructed without causing adverse impact to forests and wildlife,” Rajesh said, adding that the project would be executed with an estimated expenditure of Rs 16,550 crore. The CPRO said the Raxaul-Kathmandu rail line will have 13 stoppages, including Raxaul, Birganj, Bagahi, Pipara, Dhumarwana, Kakadi, Nijgarh, Chandrapur, Dhiyal, Shikharpur, Sisneri, Sathikhel and Kathamandu.
“The entire stretch will be dotted with 32 rail overbridges and 39 tunnels,” he added. According to sources, Indian Railways was eyeing this project in view of China’s offer to Nepal government regarding establishment of rail network in Nepal. India’s MES played an important role in getting the projects signed between Indian Railways and the Nepal government. Sources said the new rail projects would strengthen trade and business ties between India and Nepal.
Courtesy: Times of India